January 1st, 2020 - December 31st, 2021

2021 SAMAAP Board of Directors

Our Mission

SAMAAP (The Society of Friends of the West Indian Museum of Panama) is a civic non-profit organization, which has as its objectives to support and raise funds for the maintenance and extension of the work of the West Indian Museum of Panama. In addition, the organization is also dedicated to supporting and sponsoring activities that contribute to the social and cultural development of the community and feature the best aspects of afro-Caribbean culture.

Our history

Society of Friends of the West Indian Museum (SAMAAP) was formed in March 1981. The primary objective of this civic, non-profit group has been to foment community interest in the projects of the Museum as well as to sponsor socio-cultural and academic activities that promote West Indian Culture in Panama.


On Tuesday December 29th, 2018 at 7:00 pm the new Board of Directors was sworn in virtually.

President: Arcelio H. Hartley

Vice President: Nyasha Warren

Treasurer: Melva Lowe de Goodin

Recording Secretary: Verónica D. Forte

Correspondence and Archival Secretary: Gloria Branch

Public Relations Secretary: Marva Christie

Admissions Secretary: Carmela de Gobern

Secretary of Social Development and Welfare: Catalina Garrido Eastmond

Secretary of International Affairs: Marva Christie

Law and Order Officer: Dario Shirley James

Member-at-Large: Anthony McLean

Arcelio H. Hartley

"I am extremely honored to be able to address you as the new president of this Board of Directors and I express my sincere gratitude for the trust that you have deposited in me by electing me to this position ".

A few months ago, the National Secretariat for the Development of Afro-Panamanians (SENADAP) offered a workshop with the aim of strengthening non-profit organizations to function within the national sphere with a greater sense of reason for being and with specific plans to fulfill its mission. Representatives of SAMAAP participated in that workshop and the consensual result was the following Strategic Plan that includes the following five critical issues:
1. Develop a clear and documented relationship with the Ministry of Culture
2. Implement strategies to attract a younger active membership.
3. Strengthen our capacities in the field of Museology and Museography.
4. Continue our efforts to improve appearances, physical condition and the surrounding grounds of the Museum.
5. Strengthen our ties with groups dedicated to vindicating our ethnic group at the national and international level.

We are convinced that if we comply with the goals of the Strategic Plan, we will achieve a strengthened organization that will not only preserve the Museum but will also be an inspiring engine for the next generations of Afro-Antillean descendants.

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